Boston University, Intune Networks create BURST network

Boston University and Intune Networks have formed a partnership to create a next-generation research and development network, entitled the Boston University Research Switch and Transport Network (BURST). Using the capabilities of the new network, the partners plan to explore new network architectures, identifying how they can meet the challenges presented by the explosion in Internet traffic.

Feb 21st, 2012

Boston University and Intune Networks have formed a partnership to create a next-generation research and development network, entitled the Boston University Research Switch and Transport Network (BURST). Using the capabilities of the new network, the partners plan to explore new network architectures, identifying how they can meet the challenges presented by the explosion in Internet traffic.

The BURST fiber-optic network will be based on Intune’s Optical Packet Switch and Transport (OPST) technology, which uses fast-tuning lasers to switch and transport packets of data simultaneously. Intune claims that OPST is the world’s first commercial realization of optical packet switching (see "Intune Networks' Verisma optical burst switch/transport platform now available").

By switching packets optically and allocating bandwidth dynamically, OPST is able to reduce the complexity and cost carriers will incur in building out networks to support the rising bandwidth demand and performance requirements of fast emerging services, Intune claims. In addition, this architecture is designed to facilitate new “network centric” services that combine network resources (bandwidth) and IT resources (content storage and computing) provided by the network operator, enabling whole network virtualization.

The Boston University Photonics Center BURST program will enable R&D network partners to take their services, applications, products, and operational processes and test them on an operational network under real life scenarios and conditions.

Professor Alexander Sergienko from the Boston University Photonics Centre said, “The network will ultimately be capable of tying together major technology centers, business parks, and universities in the Boston metro area providing services to corporate and academic research groups. The basis for this network would be to develop a metro-regional network architecture based on Optical Packet Switch and Transport technology that will be able to offer high scalability, survivability, and cost-efficiency for future services demands. The proposed architecture promises a green approach to information transfer through lower resource consumption, ultimately delivering greater cost-efficiency for future traffic volumes and improved quality of experience compared to current metro network architectures."

Intune says the partnership is an important part of the company’s plans for the US this year. "We are rolling out commercial trials in the US this year," said Boston-based Jim Lowrie, senior vice president of worldwide sales, Intune Networks. "To support these trials, it will be very useful for our customers to be able to see the potential of the technology in action on the BURST network."

Details of the partnership were announced at an event in Boston which was attended by the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, Enda Kenny T.D.

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